Adventure travellers not content with exploring all that Earth has to offer can now reserve a spot on a space flight set to take off in 2024.
Space Perspective, a Florida company that calls itself the world’s first luxury spaceflight experience, has opened sales for tickets on a balloon ride to the stratosphere.
The six-hour journeys are set to begin leaving planet Earth in 2024, and tickets for a seat on one of the flights will cost you upwards of $125,000.
Reservations can be secured with a $1,000 deposit – giving travellers three years to come up with the rest of the funds.
Space Perspective launched ticket sales this week after successfully completing a test flight aboard a ship dubbed Neptune One on June 18. The uncrewed Neptune One navigated its planned flight route, similar to the one space tourists will fly.
It reached more than 100,000 feet, traversed the Florida peninsula and splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico, before being brought ashore.
Travellers booking a spot for the company's commercial space flights are being promised "the most breathtaking six hours of your life".
The experience takes place in a pressurised capsule propelled by a space balloon which offers a slow, gentle journey into the atmosphere.
"To gaze upon Earth from space – to take in the astounding views and vivid colours – is an unforgettable spectacle that astronauts call life-altering," says the company.
No G-force at 100,000 feet
The capsule is lifted by a giant balloon, meaning that travellers don't need to worry about high G-forces typically associated with rocket launches into space.
Instead, tourists will fly from Nasa’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, meandering from the launch pad to an elevation of around 45,000 feet, higher than most commercial aircraft.
From there, the mammoth space balloon will travel upwards to 75,000 feet, a slice of the atmosphere usually reserved for spy planes.
It will reach its ascent at 100,000 feet above Earth, where the football-stadium-sized balloon will hover for around two hours, giving passengers plenty of time to drink in the 360-degree views of the planet.
Travellers to space cruise in comfort
Each Neptune One capsule has nine reclining seats, eight for passengers and one for the pilot. Panoramic windows mean everyone on board has excellent views and non-glare panes allow for amazing photograph opportunities from inside the capsule.
Refreshments will be served throughout the flight, and there's also a bar, a cabinet to store personal belongings and an onboard bathroom. For those keen on sharing their journey with people down below, there is a Wi-Fi connection that's able to support live streaming.
Sensors in the capsule will track key elements of the journey as it unfolds, such as altitude, wind and temperature, arming passengers with more information about their stratospheric jaunt.
After travelling back down to Earth, guaranteed smooth landings on the water come courtesy of a splashdown cone located on the capsule's base.
Solo flyers can reserve their spot on a flight now, with $1,000 required as a refundable deposit. Travellers can also reserve an entire capsule to bring along a group of up to eight friends.
Those keen to be one of the first space tourists to embark on the journey can reach out to Space Perspective directly for rates for the first 25 journeys, which are being dubbed Legacy Explorer flights.